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Law

IL Senate Bill 2135

Notary Law Update: IL Senate Bill 2135

State: Illinois

Summary:

Senate Bill 2135 provides statutory approval for the remote notarization provisions in Governor Pritzker's Executive Order 2020-14 and extends expired driver's licenses during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

Signed:  June 12, 2020

Effective:  June 12, 2020

Chapter: Public Act 101-0640

Affects:

Adds 5 ILCS 175/95-20, 5 ILCS 100/5-45.1, 15 ILCS 305/3.

Changes:
  1. Gives statutory approval to the remote notarization and witness guidelines provided in Executive Order 2020-14.
  2. Provides that notwithstanding any provision of law, rule, or regulation, effective March 26, 2020 and ending 30 days after expiration of the Governor's emergency declaration regarding COVID-19, a notarial act or an act of witnessing, including when a person must "appear before", act "in the presence of", or any variation thereof, may be performed through means of two-way audio-video communication technology that allows for direct contemporaneous interaction by sight and sound between the individual signing the document, the witness and the Notary.
  3. Provides that any technology issues that may occur do not impact the validity or effect of any instrument or document signed, and defines "technology issues" to include, but not be limited to, problems with the internet connection, user error related to the use of technology, the file containing a recorded act becoming corrupted, or other temporary malfunctions involving the technology used in an act of witnessing or a notarial act.
  4. Provides that upon the Governor issuing a statewide disaster proclamation based on a health pandemic or similar emergency, the Secretary of State may extend for the duration of the proclaimed disaster and for up to a period of 120 days beyond the expiration of the disaster proclamation: (a) the expiration dates of driver's licenses, driving permits, identification cards, disabled parking placards and decals, and vehicle registrations; and (b) the expiration dates of professional licenses, registrations, certifications and commissions issued by the Secretary, including but not limited to, vehicle dealership licenses, commercial driver training school licenses, and securities, broker and investment adviser registrations.
  5. Provides that after the initial 120-day extension, the Secretary may adopt subsequent 30-day extensions only upon a determination that circumstances necessitate additional extensions, and further provides that the Secretary must adopt any subsequent 30-day extension prior to the previous lapsing.
  6. Provides that any emergency rules to implement the extension provisions must be adopted by the Secretary of State, subject to the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act.
  7. Requires all law enforcement agencies in the State of Illinois and all State and local governmental entities to recognize the validity of, and give full legal force to, extensions granted under the new law.
  8. Provides that the extension provisions in the new law are repealed on June 30, 2021.
Analysis:

The Illinois General Assembly enacts Senate Bill 2135 to deal with a range of matters related to the COVID-19 state of emergency. The most important for Notaries are the statutory approval of the temporary remote notarization provisions authorized in the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-14 and the extension of driver’s license expiration dates. The extension of driver’s licenses will affect any Notary who is presented with an Illinois driver’s license as satisfactory evidence of identity for a notarial act during the interim period, as well as any Notary who applies for a commission (a driver’s license number and photocopy must be provided to process the application). The Secretary of State’s office has already told the NNA that applicants for a Notary commission who present a license extended by SB 2135 will be accepted. SB 2135 also gives the Secretary the authority to extend the commissions of Notaries that have expired during the pandemic should he decide to do so.

Read the bill text.

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